FOUR North Yorkshire Police officers have received Royal Humane Society Awards for saving a man’s life during a dramatic rescue from the River Derwent in Malton.
Sergeant Andy Stubbings, Traffic Sergeant Neil Campbell, PC Ray Thwaites and PC Emma Collins were presented with their awards at a ceremony held at police headquarters in Newby Wiske last week by Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell and guest of honour, Brigadier John Wardle OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
It followed an incident just before midnight on December 1 last year when North Yorkshire Police received reports that a drunken man was driving around the area in a stolen car.
Despite warnings from the police officers to keep away from the water, the man entered the freezing river near to Railway Street bridge and swam away from officers.
PC Thwaites made a number of attempts to throw a lifeline to the man but was hindered by branches which were obscuring his view. He broke the branches off and together with PC Collins, laid down on the riverbank to get a clear shot with the line.
Eventually the man caught the line after a number of attempts and was pulled to safety by PC Thwaites about 20 metres downstream from Railway Street bridge.
Mr Maxwell said: “Their efforts on that dreadful night undoubtedly saved the man’s life.”
The man, who is in his late 20s and from the Pickering area, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and failing to provide a specimen for drink driving. He was banned from driving for five years.